Schools taking precautions against swine flu - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Schools taking precautions against swine flu

By Donna McCollum

WODEN, TX (KTRE) - School districts are taking precautions against swine flu. Normally during TAKS week this is a very quiet time for superintendents, but this year it is quite different. "Pretty big implications," sighed Brent Hawkins, Woden school superintendent, while reading mass e mails on swine flu. Like other superintendents he's dealing with TAKS testing and swine flu concerns. "I have issued letters home to parents to inform them of the severity of this. At the same time we don't want to panic anyone too," explained Hawkins.

At school children know the goal. "Get rid of germs," said one student as she used hand sanitizer. And that's done with lots of cleaning. "The desks are the main thing, but we also worry about the doorknobs, the bathrooms," said Tonya Mims, Woden custodian. "We disinfect. We let our disinfect set for 10 minutes." In addition, respiratory etiquette is taught. Children illustrate how it's best to cover a sneeze or cough with their arm, rather than their hand.

School nurses are the drill sergeants when it comes to following flu prevention rules. "It is a concern. We need to be aware of the possibility of kids coming down with a virus," said Lisa Thompson, Woden's school nurse. Should someone come down with the virus, parents are notified. It is also reported by the state health department. This helps prevent assumptions.

Hawkins was made aware that earlier today there was concern that a child had swine flu. It turns out the student has a bronchial infection. School districts across the state of Texas have pages and pages of protocol to follow in the event of an outbreak. Something interesting about Woden ISD is that it is a pandemic flu shelter. That means if there is an outbreak this school could be closed down to shelter sick people.

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